In a significant ruling, a court in Shahjahanpur, India, has pronounced a death sentence for a 38-year-old British woman, Ramandeep Kaur, for the murder of her NRI husband, Sukhjeet Singh, in the Banda area in 2016. The court also handed down a life imprisonment verdict to her accomplice, Gurpreet Singh.
The decision was made by Additional District and Sessions Judge Pankaj Kumar Srivastava, who found Ramandeep Kaur and Gurpreet Singh guilty of the heinous crime. The court relied heavily on the testimony of Ramandeep’s nine-year-old son, Arjun Singh, who was the sole witness to the incident. Arjun vividly described to the court how his mother and Gurpreet killed his father while he was asleep in their home, making his testimony crucial to the case, as stated by Shahjahanpur government counsel Shree Pal Verma.
Following the court’s decision on October 5, both Ramandeep and Gurpreet were taken into custody, having been out on bail prior to the verdict. The court found them guilty under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), according to Verma. Additionally, Gurpreet Singh was also found guilty under the Arms Act, leading to a three-year imprisonment term and a fine of Rs 10,000.
In Shahjahanpur, the District Government Counsel, Anuj Kumar Singh, has confirmed that the court issued a death sentence for Ramandeep and a life term for Gurpreet on Saturday. Additionally, Gurpreet was fined Rs 3 lakh. However, the defence counsel, Brijesh Vaish, has expressed intentions to challenge the verdict in a higher court.
The tragic incident revolves around Sukhjeet, who worked as a driver in England, where he met Ramandeep, a resident of Derby. They tied the knot in 2005. Gurpreet, an NRI hailing from Punjab and an old friend of Sukhjeet, was also employed in England. Gurpreet became acquainted with Sukhjeet’s family, regularly visiting their residence.
According to the prosecution’s account, in August 2016, Sukhjeet, his wife, and their two sons, Arjun Singh (then six years old) and Aryan, visited Sukhjeet’s hometown, Basantapur village in Shahjahanpur, accompanied by Gurpreet. Subsequently, the family embarked on a nationwide tour, with Gurpreet joining them.
After exploring various places, Sukhjeet and his family returned to Shahjahanpur. However, on the morning of September 2, 2016, Sukhjeet was discovered dead in a pool of blood on the first floor of his house, where he was sleeping with his family. Sukhjeet’s mother, Vansh Kaur, was sleeping on the ground floor of the house. Following a complaint filed by Vansh Kaur, an unnamed murder case was registered at the Banda police station in Shahjahanpur.
Counsel Verma said, “During the investigation, it came to light that the woman was in a relationship with Gurpreet, and they had planned to murder Sukhjeet. As per plan, on the evening of September 1, the woman mixed sedatives in the food. After having dinner, all family members went into a deep sleep.”
Verma further said, “According to the police investigation, Gurpreet entered the house after Ramandeep opened the gate late in the night. They hit Sukhjeet with a hammer on his head and slit his neck. Arjun, who had not had dinner that night, woke up to the noise and witnessed the crime”.
Currently, Arjun and Aryan have been staying at their aunt’s house in England. “In his statement, Arjun told the court that on the night of September 1, he woke up to noise in the room and saw his mother sitting on his father’s body and smothering him (father) with a pillow. Gurpreet hit his father twice with a hammer on his head. As his father was still alive, Gurpreet took out a knife from his pocket. His mother took the knife from Gurpreet and slit his father’s throat,” said Verma.